How Long Does a Pedicure Last?

Published on: Apr 9, 2022 • 5 min read


There is nothing quite like a pedicure, especially a professional one done at nail salons.

The way they remove undesirable dead skin, shape the nail, and apply just the right amount of cuticle oil - oh, and don’t get me started on the foot massage complete with lovely scented lotions (they can apply unscented lotion if you request!).

It goes without saying that a pedicure is a gateway to utter relaxation.

And if you wear sandals, flip-flops, or other open-toed shoes in the summer, you’ll want to get a pedi.

But if it’s your first time stepping into a nail salon, you might not know what to expect - especially when it comes to how long your pretty pedi will last.

Let’s take a closer look at how long a pedicure lasts and some of the easy ways to keep your pedi in tip-top shape for longer.

how long pedicure last

How Long Does a Pedicure Last?

Unfortunately, pedicures (and manicures) don’t last forever - although we wish our adorable manicure and pedicure would! Most pedicures last 2 to 4 weeks.

It mostly depends on which type of pedicure you’re getting.

However, even if you spend the extra cost for a pedicure beyond the typical “good pedicure,” it still won’t last much longer, especially if you’re applying polish to your toenails.

A Gel Pedicure with Gel Polish Lasts the Longest

A gel pedicure lasts the longest because it doesn’t use regular nail polish.

There is a specialty base coat and top coat for gel polish that allows it to last longer - typically 3-4 weeks.

The gel polish will need to be cured under a UV light to complete the gel pedicure, which hardens the material (esp the top coat) to ensure it will last a long time.

How To Make Your Pedicure Last Longer

Whether you’re opting for the gel pedicure or a regular pedicure with the works (pumice stone for calluses, massage on the lower legs with fresh water, etc.), you can take steps to prolong your nails.

Let Your Feet Rest for 12-24 Hours

Although you might think your fresh pedi is done after the first hour, that’s not the case.

Just like manicures, your pedicure will need at least 12 to 24 hours to fully “set.”

Your toenails will be more prone to damage and destruction during this time.

That said, take it easy. Save running errands for after the 24-hour mark, and don’t even think about soaking your nails in a hot tub or even taking a shower. Avoid water at all costs!

Use Unscented Products/Cuticle Oil

Most people want to have healthy, moisturized feet (and hands).

But using a scented product can break down the nail polish.

That said, stick to unscented products. Applying cuticle oil is an excellent option if you’re unsure which hydrating product to use.

Cuticle oil will also be able to keep your cuticles healthy and prolong the longevity of your pedicure.

After all, dried-out cuticles can cause chipping and peeling - both of which don’t look great with your favorite sandals or open-toed shoes.

Apply Extra Nail Polish

You don’t have to bring your own bottle of nail polish to your appointment (unless you really want to). However, the salon will likely have higher quality nail polish to utilize.

The better option is to purchase the same (or very similar) type of polish.

That way, you can do “touch-ups” on your toenails in between appointments.

(This is also an excellent idea for those who prefer a manicure or are getting a manicure and a pedicure at the same time).

Don’t forget to place a topcoat on your nails, too. Again, the nail technician will apply base and top coat to your nails.

However, there is nothing wrong with adding an extra (perfect) barrier.

An additional topcoat will also provide some added shine - and who doesn’t want that for their toes and toe nail paint?

Cover Your Toes

Whether you’re doing your own toenails or want professional pedicures, you’re going to want to show off your feet- that’s a given.

However, too much showing off can lead to wear and tear as your nails are combated with the elements.

Harsh weather during the winter, humidity from the sun in summer, sand from the beach, and other conditions all can weaken the life span of your pedicure.

What should you do?

Keep your toes covered as much as possible, especially when home. Invest in a good pair of socks - you know, the ones that are great for moisturizing the skin on the feet.

Try to avoid going barefoot, too. This can lead to nails that chip readily. It can also cause feet to dry out, get calluses, and even render an infection.

Pedicure FAQs

How Often Should I Have a Pedicure?

How often you have pedicures depends largely on personal preference. However, anywhere between one and six weeks is acceptable. Most commonly, 4-5 weeks in between treatments.

Some women may prefer to run to the salon whenever they have a chip in their coats. Others like putting it off until their feet are essentially begging for a touch-up.

What Should You Not Do Before a Pedicure?

There are a few things to avoid doing with your feet before a pedicure. These will help your pedicures last longer and ensure they’re safe and effective.

Don’t shave your feet or legs before pedicures. Also, don’t apply polish to your nails. This is especially true if the nails on your feet are struggling with discoloration.

Also, leave the prepping of your feet to the nail tech. That said, don’t try to push back or cut your cuticles or shape the nails.

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